Option 1: Describe a ritual performance (rite, ceremony) of which you have had experience either as a participant or as…

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Option 1: Describe a ritual performance (rite, ceremony) of which you have had experience either as a participant or as an observer. This can be either a ritual you have experienced recently (and perhaps on more than one occasion) or one that took place some time ago but which you still recall in sufficient detail. Drawing on this experience as well as anthropological approaches to ritual covered in the readings and in class (e.g. Turner’s theory of ritual symbols; Van Gennep’s model of ‘rites of passage), you should then analyse the performance, addressing the following questions: Is the ritual primarily religious or secular? Can you identify economic aspects or implications of the performance. What sort of knowledge (broadly defined, including ideology, beliefs, etc.), inform the ritual? What forms of authority or other power relationships exist within the ritual or otherwise find expression it? And it what ways does the ritual affect the identities of participants?

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